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Dorian’s wrath: aimed elsewhere

South Boston News
SoVaNow.com / September 02, 2019
Hurricane Dorian is breathing down the necks of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas — but at least through Sunday, it projects to stay well out of range of Halifax County.

“Right now it looks like it’ll go up the East Coast, but they’re not going to lock down on that for now,” said County Emergency Coordinator Steve Dishman, referring to forecasts by the National Weather Service.

“We could get some mild winds or breeze, but at this point we’re not getting anything serious that would [trigger warnings from NWS],” said Dishman. Still, he cautioned, “we’re in the season now where we don’t know what [storms] will do.”

Dorian has emerged as a ferocious, unpredictable monster, becoming the second strongest hurricane on record to strike the Bahamas on Sunday. Wind gusts up to 225 mph were recorded as the storm wreaked havoc on the archipelago island country off the southern tip of Florida, and Dorian continues to grow in size.

A Category 5 storm as of Sunday, Dorian has been inching towards Florida, where it is expected to sweep up the coastline and bring high winds, flooding and dangerous storm surge to coastal areas. The question is how close the hurricane will get to the shore, or whether it will tilt inland and cause greater, potentially massive damages.

In a statement Sunday, the National Weather Service forecast office in Melbourne, Florida suggested that a storm track over inland Florida is a distinct danger, based on the latest readings: “The situation has become more serious, especially for the east central Florida coastal counties,” wrote the NWS.

The prospects for flooding in North Carolina and South Carolina, outside of coastal areas, have been downgraded as the NWS picks up signs that Dorian will gain speed as it treks north — preventing the sort of slow-moving, intense and devastating rainfall that accompanied Hurricanes Florence and Michael last year.

By becoming a Category 5 storm, Dorian cements a worrisome trend: this marks the first time since the start of satellite readings in the 1960s that Category 5 storms have formed in the tropical Atlantic in four straight years.

And with hurricane season lasting through the end of November, and generally peaking in September, Dishman reminded residents to be prepared for severe weather.

Among the preparations you should take:

» Know your area’s risk of hurricanes.

» Stay alert to updates and warning

» Gather supplies, medicines, food for all persons and pets, to last three days

» Locate a safe shelter — interior room without windows on the lowest level not prone to flooding

» Make a communications plan with family members

» Prepare for prolonged power outages

» Prepare your home by decluttering drains and gutters, bringing loose yard debris, decorations, and tools inside, and other steps.

If caught in a hurricane, tornado or severe storm, protect yourself from high winds and flying debris by taking refuge in an interior room of your house/building without windows.

Be aware of emergency alerts and alarms, and never use a generator indoors or near windows.

“Turn Around, Don’t Drown” — never drive/walk/swim through flood waters of an unknown level

» Stay off bridges over fast-moving water

Additional guidance is available online at:

https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes

http://www.vaemergency.gov

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